Betley Woods at Glacier's End

Trails coming to Betley Woods at Glacier’s End Nature Preserve in Johnson County


July 11, 2022

The Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) received $239,500 of Next Level Trails funding to bring a cutting-edge project consisting of new trails and a digital interpretive app to Betley Woods at Glacier’s End Nature Preserve, which is owned by the Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc. (CILTI).

Located on the southern border of Johnson County near Trafalgar, Betley Woods at Glacier’s End is so named in honor of Leonard and Kathryn Betley for their generosity toward conservation in Indiana, and because it sits where a line of glaciers stopped their southward march thousands of years ago.

The resulting mix of both glaciated and unglaciated land supports a surprising diversity of flora and fauna in a compact area. The preserve features clear running water, steep bluffs, exposed bedrock, shale bottom streams and chunks of granite strewn across the valley floors. The area is a haven for rare species, including timid sedge and Northern long-eared bat (both state-endangered), red-shouldered hawk, hooded warbler and worm-eating warbler (both species of special concern). Several spider species that are new to science have been discovered on the property.

Johnson County Community Foundation provided CILTI with additional grant funding to create an ADA-compliant one-mile loop through a flat section of the property. This easy trail will give all Hoosiers the opportunity for a deep-woods experience with exceptional wildlife viewing.

IWF will construct the trails using its Certified Sustainable Trail Program that minimizes drainage and erosion impacts, keeps pedestrian traffic away from sensitive wildlife breeding areas and protects critical habitat. Design work on the trails has begun.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to come together as IWF and CILTI and receive funding from the state,” said Cliff Chapman, executive director of CILTI. “When completed, these trails will provide a visitor experience that’s unlike any other in Indiana.”

“We’ve wanted to partner with CILTI on a large scale project for a long time, and this property is just the perfect site to be able to do something together,” said Emily Wood, executive director of IWF.

Additional funding and support for the project comes from local neighbors, and IWF and CILTI members and volunteers.

About the Indiana Wildlife Federation
As the nonprofit, grass-roots affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, IWF works to promote the wise use of our renewable resources through educational programs like Certified Sustainable Trails and the Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Our organization works with state agencies and other organizations to monitor Indiana’s wildlife and habitats, including Hoosier lakes and rivers, air, and soil. We pay particular attention to legislation that affects Indiana’s conservationists, wildlife watchers, sportswomen and men–and of course our state’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. More at

Jen Schmits Thomas

Media Relations

An award-winning communicator and recognized leader in Central Indiana’s public relations community, Jen helps us tell our story in the media. She is the founder of JTPR, which she and her husband John Thomas own together.